Updates on the Job Retention Bonus and the Job Support Scheme

08 Oct 2020

More information is becoming available on two of the newer Government Initiatives to support employment during the Coronavirus Pandemic


Job Retention Bonus

This scheme allows employers to claim a £1,000 government payment for previously furloughed employees who are still employed at 31 January 2021. The updated HMRC guidance can be found here.

The key points are:

• It will only be possible to make claims between 15 February and 31 March 2021

• The payment is made to the employer and is subject to income tax/corporation tax

• The claim can be made even if the employer has also claimed under the job support scheme

• A payment can be claimed for employees that:

o The employer made an eligible claim for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme o Have been kept continuously employed from the end of the claim period of the last Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim for them, until 31 January 2021

o Are not serving a contractual or statutory notice period for the employer on 31 January 2021 (this includes people serving notice of retirement)

o Have been paid enough an amount in each relevant tax month and enough to meet the Job Retention Bonus minimum income threshold

• To be eligible for the bonus the employer must make sure that the employees have been paid at least the minimum income threshold. To meet the minimum income threshold the employer must pay the employee a total of at least £1,560 (gross) throughout the tax months:

o 6 November to 5 December 2020

o 6 December 2020 to 5 January 2021

o 6 January to 5 February 2021

• The employee must be paid at least one payment of taxable earnings (of any amount) in each of the relevant tax months.

• The minimum income threshold criteria apply regardless of:

o How often the employee is paid

o Any circumstances that may have reduced the employee’s pay in the relevant tax periods, such as being on statutory leave or unpaid leave

• Only payments that count as taxable pay count towards the minimum income threshold.

• Details of how to claim will be published in January

Job Support Scheme

A government factsheet is available with detailed information on the Job Support Scheme – see the link here

Points of particular note from this factsheet are:

  • The scheme will cover the period 1 November 2020 to 30 April 2021 with the first claims being possible in December 2021

  • There is no requirement for the employer to have previously claimed under the Job Retention (furlough) Scheme in order to use the Job Support Scheme, nor is there any requirement for the specific employee(s) to have previously been furloughed

  • For Small and medium Sized Entities there are no financial requirements to be met in order to use the scheme. Large businesses will have to show that their turnover is lower than it was before they began experiencing difficulties as a result of the pandemic. At this stage there is no definition of “large business” for these purposes

  • There is a stated expectation that large businesses using the scheme will not make capital payments such as dividends or share buy backs while using the scheme. We do not have any more details on this at the moment but this has the potential to impact remuneration planning arrangements for those businesses that fall within the definition of “large.”

More detail will continue to emerge and we will provide further updates as this becomes available including details of how to make claims.



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